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Installing a do-it-yourself (DIY) Wi-Fi® antenna is basically the same as installing a store-bought antenna, though there are some tips that can help ensure the best possible wireless signal. If a DIY Wi-Fi® antenna is made to go outside, then keeping it away from leaves may help, and an inside antenna should not be placed too near a lot of clutter. Placing a DIY Wi-Fi® antenna at a high point may help the signal reach far distances. Selecting the right channel for the antenna can keep interference low. Extension cords also may be needed, especially if the Wi-Fi® antenna is going to be installed far away from the wireless access point (WAP).
Surrounding objects are capable of absorbing and interfering with the wireless signal coming from a DIY Wi-Fi® antenna, so it usually is best to install the antenna in a clear area. This goes for both interior and exterior Wi-Fi® antennas. Exterior antennas should be away from leaves and thick stands of trees, while interior antennas should be kept away from clutter and random objects.
When installing a DIY Wi-Fi® antenna, it usually is best to place the antenna at a high point, especially if installed outside. It normally should go at the highest available area but, if the house or building is very high and the signal cannot reach the computer, then the antenna should be installed high enough to ensure the Wi-Fi® signal can still reach the computer. By installing the Wi-Fi® antenna at a high point, it makes it easier for multiple people to access the antenna at the same time.
A DIY Wi-Fi® antenna can often make use of several different channels. Each channel has a different Wi-Fi® frequency and, while one channel may be good around other antennas, another channel may only be good by itself. Being a DIY antenna rather than a store-bought antenna with a manual, a channel scanner program may be useful, or one can simply try each channel until one that works is found.
It usually is a good idea to install a DIY Wi-Fi® antenna near the WAP so the two can easily interact. This also makes it easier to connect the two devices so the WAP can power the antenna. If the two cannot be close to one another, then using an extension cord to increase the cord length from the Wi-Fi® antenna may be helpful; otherwise, the two devices may not be able to work together.
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